Survey provides dairy farm employee compensation benchmarks

Posted on November 24, 2021 in Dairy Performance
By Steve Maier “What do other farms pay their employees?”  “What benefits do they offer?”  “How do you compete for good employees?” Our team at Agri-Business Consultants, LLC is often asked these questions.  To help farms benchmark their employee compensation and benefits, we conducted a survey of 50 Midwest dairy farms this summer and summarized

Work safely in the winter

Posted on January 29, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Chris Belz
Hard work and a dairy farm go hand in hand, but we need to stay healthy to care for our families and our animals.  Here are a few reminders for safe farm work in the winter.

Forage and business tips from Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting 2020

Posted on May 27, 2020 in Dairy Performance

The 2020 forage season is underway!  Are you geared up for success?  Speakers at the Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting held in February shared a wide range of expertise in forage production as well as business management.  Browse all of the event e-news topics in this post and visit Vita Plus Forage Foundations for more forage-focused technical expertise and practical tips.

Know these symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite

Posted on January 30, 2019 in Dairy Performance

The extreme cold weather and wind chills you are dealing with are dangerous. 

Keep this list handy and watch for any symptoms of hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot, and chilblains that may occur in your family members, employees, or yourself.

How to focus on farm efficiency

Posted on October 12, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Peter Coyne
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are defined as measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a business meets its objectives.  Identifying and tracking a few simple, yet critical, KPIs can prevent farm managers from becoming bogged down in analysis and losing sight of what’s important to their operations.

Strategies to recruit and retain good employees

Posted on June 18, 2018 in Dairy Performance

​By Mark Case
Let’s face it, finding and retaining good employees is becoming a major hurdle on many dairy farms.  A few key strategies can give you an edge in finding and keeping great employees.

Clear thinking with cloudy milk prices: 5 key ideas to see through the low-hanging price clouds

Posted on February 6, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Gary Sipiorski
Seasoned dairy producers have been through our cyclical milk price swings.  They recognize this low spot because they’ve been here before.  Those with less experience may feel more uncomfortable in the current situation, but that’s not to say any dairy producer is pleased with the prices.  Regardless, everyone must work through the low period. 

Here are five ideas to start the preparation process for however long it will take to get back to a higher milk price.  

Want success? Take care of your people – Part 2

Posted on October 26, 2017 in Dairy Performance

By Peter Coyne
As I mentioned in part one of this series, success on the farm starts and ends with good employees.  We discussed the qualities of good managers and how good management starts at hiring.  In this second article, we will talk about what managers can do to keep employees engaged once they are hired.

Want success? Take care of your people

Posted on October 16, 2017 in Dairy Performance

By Peter Coyne
Employees are the most valuable asset on a dairy farm and managing those employees well is the true key to success on a farm. 

Set the expectations millennial employees crave

Posted on May 23, 2017 in Dairy Performance

By Bob Hagenow
The workforce is currently made of three different generations:

  • Baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964)
  • Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000)
  • Generation X (those born between these two generations)

Each of these generations approaches work and is motivated differently based on the life experiences that shaped them.

Be safe around manure pits

Posted on October 18, 2016 in Dairy Performance

By Scott Hall
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries to work in when it comes to injuries and fatalities in the work place. In 2013, 23.3 fatalities per 100,000 workers were reported in the agriculture industry alone. Although no shortage of dangerous jobs exists in agriculture, one of the more hazardous areas to work in or near is the manure pit. This is a hazard many farm workers and family members can be exposed to, specifically the gases given off, and, if proper safety measures are neglected, death can result from exposure.

Hire employees focused on service

Posted on May 13, 2016 in Dairy Performance

By Brittany Gevelinger
Anyone can be a leader as long as he or she understands that service is the basis of leadership, knows that being authentic means being a leader in every aspect life, and has a servant’s heart.

Use post-season evaluation to assess the harvest

Posted on October 27, 2015 in Dairy Performance
By Chris Wacek-Driver Hopefully, the 2015 harvest season’s efforts have rewarded your farm with adequate inventory and quality feed for the year ahead and will be reflected in profitable milk production and healthy cows.  Equally as important, we hope all this was accomplished efficiently and safely. With the last tire on the bunker and the

Conflict: Cows can be the easy part of farm management

Posted on July 31, 2015 in Dairy Performance
By Jack Hales and Barry Visser The care and comfort of the cows is of utmost importance, but, some days, managing the cows is the easy part.  The biggest conflict from the cows’ perspective may be resolved by moving the dominant cow to another pen. It’s not so easy with people. Occasionally, “big picture” conflicts

Help farm workers meet goals with performance evaluations

Posted on July 20, 2015 in Dairy Performance
By Jim Lewis and Andy Nytes Improving farm business performance presents an everyday challenge for employers and owners.  Continuing at the current level of performance is never really considered an option for goal-oriented people, whether they are owners or supervisors. As managers, however, we quickly learn that we cannot accomplish improved performance on our own.

The 3 R’s for coaching employees

Posted on March 11, 2015 in Dairy Performance
By Jon Wilcox Bobby Knight, a college basketball coach with more than 900 victories and nicknamed “The General,” was perhaps most famously remembered for his fierce, combative, expletive-laden, chair-throwing style.  Yet he’s loyally defended and fanatically revered by most of his former players. Contrast him with the quiet and calm Tony Dungy.  Dungy’s accomplishments include